2008-09Final FourSemifinal B
May 01, 2009 CET: 18:00
Local time: 18:00 O2 WORLD
Ramunas Siskauskas - CSKA Moscow - Final Four Berlin 2009

CSKA Moscow advanced to the Euroleague title game for the fourth year in a row by knocking off Regal FC Barcelona 78-82 on Friday evening in the opening game of the 2009 Euroleague Basketball Final Four at the o2 World in Berlin. Ramunas Siskauskas was the hero after scoring 18 of his career-high 29 points in the fourth quarter – including all the points in a 0-11 run that gave CSKA its first lead. The champs will next face the winner of Friday’s second semifinal between Greek rivals Olympiacos and Panathinaikos in the championship game. The club will try to become the seventh to win back-to-back Euroleague crowns, a feat last accomplished by Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2004-05. CSKA also targets its seventh Euroleague title, which would bring it within one of Real Madrid for the most ever, while head coach Ettore Messina seeks his fifth title, which would place him alone in second place behind only Zeljko Obradovic on the all-time coaching list. Barcelona started strong and led by double figures already in the opening quarter, but CSKA never folded and saved its best for last. Trajan Langdon added 15 for the champs and Viktor Khryapa posted 9 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals. Former CSKA star David Andersen paced Barcelona with 24 points and Jaka Lakovic and Juan Carlos Navarro netted 13 apiece in defeat.

Messina used an unexpected lineup with Khryapa in his starting five instead of Siskauskas, who came off the bench for just the third time this season. Andersen got Barcelona going with a baseline jumper before Langdon tied the game. CSKA had trouble hitting shots while Lakovic stepped up with a running triple and Navarro buried one from downtown for an 8-2 Barcelona lead. Langdon answered with a jumper only to see Lakovic nail his second three-pointer. Andersen joined the three-point shootout, causing CSKA to call a much-needed timeout at 14-4. J.R. Holden tried to change things with a fallaway jumper off the dribble, but a layup-plus-foul by Daniel Santiago made it an 11-point game. CSKA tried a new frontline with Siskauskas, Terence Morris and Sasha Kaun together on court. Barcelona did not allow easy shots, but CSKA tried to change things with a fast break dunk off a steal. Roger Grimau came through with a driving layup, but free throws by Kaun and an easy basket by Siskauskas got CSKA within 19-12. Andersen fed Lubos Barton for a layup that restored a 21-12 Barcelona lead after 10 minutes.

CSKA tried a tall lineup early in the second quarter with Siskauskas and Khryapa at the wings. Matjaz Smodis scored inside and Kaun provided a highlight with a slam that got his team within 21-16. Khryapa also threw one down off a steal, leading Barcelona head coach Xavi Pascual to call timeout to stop a 0-6 run. Lakovic stepped up with a fast break layup, but CSKA had adjusted its man-to-man defense with Kaun as its key player. Andersen beat the shot clock with a turnaround jumper that gave his team some fresh air at 25-18. Smodis hit a layup off a CSKA timeout, but soon Fran Vazquez erased it with a dunk. Langdon made free throws on Navarro's third foul. Lakovic came through with a long bomb. This time Smodis answered from downtown to keep CSKA within 30-25. Siskauskas sank free throws and a triple by Holden tied it at 30-30. Basile buried 2 foul shots and Santiago added a power layup to put their team back ahead, 34-30. Langdon beat the shot clock with a long jumper but a buzzer-beating put-back basket by Andersen - that had to be double-checked through instant replay - fixed the halftime score at 36-32.

Andersen fired in a three-pointer to start the second half and Grimau collected a steal and raced downcourt for a dunk for a 41-32 Barcelona lead. Lorbek picked up his first points on a jump hook and soon added a power layup to bring CSKA back to life. Andersen provided a great assist to Santiago, but Langdon and a baseline jumper by Khryapa got CSKA even closer. Barcelona tried to improve its offense with Navarro and Vazquez on court now. Vazquez scored on a tip-in, however Lorbek bettered him with a three-point play. Navarro shined with his trademark floating layup - 'la bomba' - which Langdon matched with a mid-range jumper. Free throws by Siskauskas soon made it a one-point game. Andersen rescued Barcelona with a three-point play, but a driving layup by Langdon kept CSKA within 50-48. Navarro made free throws only to see Lorbek and a big triple by Siskauskas tie it again at 52-52. Andersen beat the shot clock with a smooth turnaround jumper that Siskauskas erased with a reverse layup. Santiago made free throws to put Barcelona back ahead, 56-54, after 30 minutes.

The game turned into a physical battle early in the fourth quarter and Barcelona made the most out of it. Smodis sank a floating layup to finish a two-chance offense, but Andersen scored again for a 58-56 Barcelona lead. CSKA opted to slow down the game tempo with Zoran Planinic and Holden together on court, but it couldn't create good shots. At the other end, a red-hot Andersen nailed an open three-pointer. But after a timeout, CSKA took the upper hand. Siskauskas buried back-to-back three-pointers to give CSKA its first lead, 61-62, with less than seven minutes remaining. Siskauskas continued to shine, adding free throws. Lakovic struggled to call the right plays against Holden and Planinic, so Pascual opted to use Victor Sada in crunch time. Siskauskas buried another bomb from downtown for a 61-67 CSKA edge, capping a 0-11 run in which he had all the points. Basile beat the shot clock with a wild triple, but Siskauskas answered with an acrobatic basket. Vazquez and Khryapa traded dunks as CSKA kept a 66-72 lead. Navarro nailed a big three-pointer, as CSKA tried to run the clock down now. Siskauskas downed free throws, however Ersan Ilyasova’s fadeaway jumper kept Barcelona as close as 71-74 with 1:40 to go. Langdon banked in a critical put-back jumper, but Navarro quickly answered from downtown, 74-76. Siskauskas provided a highlight with a fallaway jumper and collected a steal that allowed Holden to seal the outcome with free throws, 74-80, with 21.9 seconds to go. Andersen added 2 free throws with 15 seconds left, but Barcelona was stuck fouling to stop the clock and Holden and Siskauskas made free throws to wrap up the win.

Friday, May 1, 2009
Javier Gancedo, Euroleague.net, Berlin
No results found.
Referees: VOREADIS, LAZAROS (GRE), BACHAR, SHMUEL (ISR), BELOSEVIC, ILIJA (SRB)
Attendance: 13238
By Quarter1234
Regal FC Barcelona21152022
CSKA Moscow12202228
End of Quarter1234
Regal FC Barcelona21365678
CSKA Moscow12325482
Regal FC Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 BASILE, GIANLUCA 35:53 5 0/2 1/6 2/3   5 5 1 1     1 3 1 1
6 BARRETT, ANDRE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 TRIAS, JORDI DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 BARTON, LUBOS 8:17 2 1/1 0/1                       1
10 LAKOVIC, JAKA 34:16 13 1/2 3/7 2/2   3 3 5 2 3     1 3 17
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 22:49 13 1/1 3/5 2/2       2   2     4 3 10
13 ANDERSEN, DAVID 34:28 24 6/6 3/6 3/3 2 2 4 2   3 1   3 5 27
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 14:09 6 3/4       2 2       1   5 1 4
21 ILYASOVA, ERSAN 12:50 2 1/2 0/3   2 3 5 2   1 1   2   3
24 SADA, VICTOR 5:44                         1   -1
25 SANTIAGO, DANIEL 18:33 9 3/6   3/3 2 4 6 2         3 6 17
44 GRIMAU, ROGER 13:01 4 2/3 0/1     1 1 1 2 2   1 4   -1
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 78 18/27 10/29 12/13 6 21 27 15 5 11 3 2 26 19 79
        66.7% 34.5% 92.3%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 ZISIS, NIKOS 3:02                           1 1
7 KEYRU, VICTOR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 SMODIS, MATJAZ 31:29 9 3/9 1/4   1 2 3 1   3   2 3 2 -2
9 SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS 24:21 29 4/8 4/6 9/10   2 2             5 29
10 HOLDEN, J.R. 34:54 8 1/6 1/3 3/4 2 3 5 4   1     3 2 7
12 LORBEK, ERAZEM 16:26 8 3/3 0/1 2/4   2 2 1 1       4 4 9
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 LANGDON, TRAJAN 32:02 15 6/7   3/4 2 4 6   2 1     1 7 26
24 KAUN, SASHA 7:43 4 1/2   2/2   1 1     1 1 1 2 2 3
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 28:26 9 4/5 0/1 1/2 3 6 9 2 3 1 1   4 2 18
34 PLANINIC, ZORAN 7:42           1 1 1         1   1
44 MORRIS, TERENCE 13:55   0/1     2 1 3           1 1 2
Team             1 1   1           2
Totals 200:00 82 22/41 6/15 20/26 10 23 33 9 7 7 2 3 19 26 96
        53.7% 40% 76.9%
Head coach: MESSINA, ETTORE

Head Coaches

PASCUAL, XAVI
Regal FC Barcelona
"Good evening. We said before the game that small details will make the difference in this game and that is exactly what happened. Their offensive rebounds and some fouls that we shouldn't have made, taking them to the foul line, some defensive details and above all, the many free throws that CSKA took compared to us. That allowed them to stay in the game, especially in the second quarter. In a very good, balanced game and with a 5-point lead, Siskauskas made the difference with back-to-back three-pointers. We had dominated the game until that moment, but CSKA won it. There was a key moment with 2 consecutive turnovers and CSKA had an inbounds basket in a situation with Smodis that we had talked about in practice. We also had big foul troubles in the second quarter when Juan Carlos Navarro and Roger Grimau picked up their third ones. That did not allow to carry on with our rotation. Moreover, we entered the foul bonus too early and that was a handicap for us. Siskauskas played an excellent game, carrying CSKA on his back. We made a mistake in a pick-and-roll played by Planinic with Khryapa. We did not switch, he ran to the basket and found Siskauskas wide open for a three-pointer. It was our mistake. Then he hit another three-pointer off a pick-and-roll that he played really well. He got into the game, hit another triple in front of Gianluca Basile and a big basket in the low post... he played a great fourth quarter. We wanted to use David Andersen a lot in our offensive game, we knew he had an advantage. We had a good game, offensively and defensively. On the other hand, we could say that Siskauskas was the only one to score fluently for CSKA and that is not true. A team plays together and someone scores more sometimes. Siskauskas and Andersen were the best scorers, but neither of them was alone."
MESSINA, ETTORE
CSKA Moscow
"Good evening. We are very happy to have reached the Euroleague final for the fourth consecutive year. It is a big reward for the club, our players and our coaching staff. At the same time, I think we beat an excellent Barcelona that played excellent early in the game. They had a lot of weapons on the court for a long time, led by an excellent David Andersen, who played another great game in his career. The key was not to panic after a horrible start and we slowly managed to put the game in the halfcourt, like we knew we liked. At the same time, with 82 points scored, I think that if I am not wrong, we had more rebounds and a better three-point percentage. We thought those were the biggest keys to this game, especially, as these are their strongest weapons. We managed to control this and obviously made great plays, especially Siskauskas, in the second half. I would like to make it simple, this is what great players are for, you expect that they do something for you. I tried a small lineup in the fourth quarter, a decision I took during the game. I thought that we had to spread the offense to help Siskauskas to drive to the basket. I also thought that we needed Viktor Khryapa's quickness at power forward. Viktor was the key for us to win. He did a lot of things to make us win the game. At the same time, in the fourth quarter he rebounded very well. David scored only 2 points against him after being a problem for 34 or 35 minutes. We did not try anything new by using Sasha Kaun so early in the game. We did that in the Russian League and in both friendlies with Efes, and he responded well. The plan was to use him along with Erazem Lorbek together, using Lorbek at the four. Because of his two quick fouls, he had to play immediately and I think he responded pretty well. I took him out only he was very tired. I expected a very good game from Andersen, but also from Navarro and Lakovic. At the same time, we knew we had a size advantage against both of them. It was a problem for them to play defense on Langdon or Siskauskas. We prepared our team against a strong atmosphere. We were ready for the Greek fans to support Barcelona in case they would prefer them as a potential opponnent in the final. You never know what fans think. In the end, my players were not affected by it. I was afraid that my players would have a slow start because as you know, we have not played a strong game in April. We played two easy games in the Russian League and two exhibition games against Efes Pilsen. I knew we would have a very difficult start and that is what happened. After that horrible start, as time went by we were into the game. Even in timeouts it was very easy to communicate with players, so they were not affected by the crowd. They will be affected on Sunday, for sure."

"We were patient, despite getting behind by a lot early, against a great Barcelona team, with great shooters. We were patient and didn't panic, and even if our first half was not that nice, we came back and evened the score. IN the second half, we had more movement and focused on taking advantage of the great night of Siskauskas. He had a great MVP night, but he had a lot of help from other guys. I think this is one more time we managed to do what we had to by staying calm. All year long and all these four years, that is what we tell them. We started in Athens and in Prague before that being down 0-7, but we know it's a basketball game, and the worst that can happen is you lose. On one side, we managed to stop on defense by using the quickness of Khryapa at the four position at the same time that on offense Siskauskas gave us an incredible lift.”

Players

LAKOVIC, JAKA
Regal FC Barcelona
"We played well for 30 minutes but lost the game on defense in the fourth quarter. We played really well in the first half, especially on defense. That allowed us to play fast-paced offense. We lost a bit of concentration in the third quarter and we were not aggressive from that moment. We didn't hit shots and our game tempo went down. Our five-on-five game was not good and CSKA took advantage of that. We are sad because of this loss but everyone gave 100 percent. We will try to be back here and win the title next season."
SISKAUSKAS, RAMUNAS
CSKA Moscow
"Our plan was no matter what to stay concentrated all 40 minutes. We knew that it was possible to go down in the score, but our plan was to keep going, keep playing. We did that and I'm happy that in the fourth quarter, we made some great defensive and offensive plays and we won the game. But it was so difficult. I just took the shots. There were opportunities. If you are open and feel you can take the shot, you take it because there can be no more chances. I tried to do that and am happy I made them. We came back in the fourth quarter, tied the score, went ahead and felt our confidence then. It was a nervous game, but we won. It would be great to repeat, but we have one more game still."